Since it was discovered, DNA evidence has changed criminal justice proceedings in New York significantly. People may hear stories about people who have had old convictions overturned thanks to new DNA evidence coming to light. However, it’s important to know that DNA evidence is not 100% accurate.
What is DNA evidence?
DNA is the information that is encoded into the cells of all living things. While human DNA is similar from one person to the next, the slight differences allow scientists to create DNA profiles for individuals. When DNA evidence is presented in court, it means that investigators were able to find a biological sample that matched a person’s DNA profile.
How accurate is DNA evidence?
DNA evidence is considered to be extremely accurate, but it is not a perfect science. According to studies, forensic analysis of DNA is about 95% accurate. DNA evidence cannot identify a suspect with pinpoint accuracy, but it can narrow down the possibilities significantly. Fingerprints and eyewitness accounts are thought to be much less accurate than DNA evidence.
Is DNA evidence always admissible in court?
Criminal law attorneys usually don’t argue that DNA samples in general are an unreliable form of evidence. However, defense attorneys may argue that a particular DNA sample was mishandled when it was collected or contaminated while it was being analyzed in the lab. DNA evidence may also be excluded from a trial if there are concerns about the behavior of investigators.
The inclusion of DNA evidence in your case may help or harm your criminal defense depending on the circumstances. If a DNA sample is being used as evidence in your case, you may want to inquire about how it was collected or handled.